Ford Motor Co.'s freshened Transit Connect Wagon gets best-in-class highway and combined EPA fuel economy ratings, but the automaker said it is aiming even higher for its new, yet-to-be-rated diesel offering.
The passenger wagon, on sale now, comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to an eight-speed transmission. The long wheelbase, front-wheel-drive model gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 24 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. That is an improvement over the previous generation's 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
The 2019 Transit Connect beats the Nissan NV200 Cargo Van's 24 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined rating, and also leads the 2018 Ram ProMaster City's ratings of 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
But Ford is expecting to crack the 30 mpg barrier with its upcoming 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel engine. Ford says it expects "at least" 30 mpg when the engine earns its EPA rating sometime early next year.
Officials say the wagon accounts for about 15 percent of Transit Connect volume, but Ford hopes to grow that to 20 to 25 percent.
It will offer a class-leading towing capacity of 2,000 pounds when equipped with an available trailer tow package, Ford says. The vehicle also comes with a host of new driver-assistance features.
The refresh is meant to further grow Ford's dominant share of the commercial vehicle segment.
Last year, Ford sold 34,473 Transit Connects in the U.S., down 20 percent but nearly double the sales of the second-place NV200. Ford owned about a 45 percent share of the compact van segment in 2017 and hopes to grow that number by targeting active baby boomers who might not be able to afford a traditional minivan or large crossover.
The Transit Connect's U.S. sales fell 9.3 percent to 23,218 units through September of this year, Ford's monthly sales report said on Tuesday.